Cross-posted with shadow cabinet.
Experimented last night with making recordings of myself reading poems. I forgot how damn difficult it is to get that right! And without a live audience, it’s hard to muster the necessary, tense energy. For some reason I decided to record Dump in the Woods — I guess I thought it would be fun to read. I posted the result, but then after listening to it myself, changed my mind and took out the link.
Re-read After Word this morning and found the whole prose part, about the poem set in concrete, too wordy. There’s no reason to include stuff that I feel even a little iffy about, so I cut it. As for the part that remains: I like it, but looking through the VN archives later, realized that I’d used a very similar image in the thing about Roentgenisdat. So if at some point I decide to put that one into the game, the other might have to sit out.
Then I got a strange idea: Why not try going through VN using the “Poems and poem-like things” category pages? Right away, I found some recent pieces that I had already forgotten about. The Wait, Landmark, Blast Area, Advice for Prospective Troglodytes, and Diet Plan all made the cut after a few changes.
I’m beginning to think that 2006 may well have been my best year for poetry yet. If so, I’m not sure what the cause might be — maybe just that I found myself increasingly willing to shirk on everything else in order to write. I do know this: the kind of work I am engaged in on shadow cabinet is no substitute. There’s too much ego in it, and not nearly enough reward, compared with the out-of-body experience of actually writing a poem.
During lunch, Mom spotted a bright white spot moving along the top edge of the field and realized it was our hunter friend P.’s bleach-blonde hair. She stopped and stood in place for about five minutes, and we figured she was out with her two-and-a-half-year-old grandson, who would’ve been hidden by the tall grass. But then when she started moving again, she walked rapidly up into the woods, and we decided that she was participating in a deer drive instead.
In a normal winter, it would’ve been her dark clothing that caught our attention, not her light hair. This year, not only is there no snow, but the temperature was 56 degrees at dawn. It hardly feels like winter at all.
Today is Epiphany, and therefore also the end of the Feast of Fools and the sovereignty of the Lord of Misrule. Starting tomorrow, things are supposed to return to their normal order. Poets — and all other foolish epiphany-mongers — take note.